Souness fights tears at Francis Lee’s funeral after second close pal in months

Graeme Souness cut an emotional figure amongst mourners who gathered to pay their respects at the funeral of Francis Lee.

Manchester City legend Lee, who was capped 27 times for England between 1968 and 1972, died at the age of 79 earlier this month after a lengthy battle with lung cancer. He was laid to rest in a service at Manchester Cathedral this morning (October 19).

Many of his former City team-mates – including Tony Book, Mike Summerbee and Joe Royle – were in attendance, as well club ambassador Micah Richards and his former Sky Sports colleague Souness.

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The Liverpool hero looked to be fighting back the tears as he arrived. It's the second funeral he's attended in the space of three months after also losing another close friend in Trevor Francis, who he played alongside at Sampdoria.

Summerbee, who formed the memorable midfield trio with Lee and Colin Bell, hailed him as "one of the nicest people you could possibly meet".

“Francis believed in himself, and he was a great goal scorer, and he could turn a game," he said, via the Manchester Evening News. "We always looked to Francis and he was just absolutely superb.

"He was a working-class lad who came from Westhoughton and was so admired by everyone. He was a very clever man and very astute in business, but he never changed. He was Francis Lee.

“We’ve lost one of the nicest people you could possibly meet. As a footballer he was magnificent, as a Manchester City chairman he was magnificent.”

Floral tributes of 'Franny', 'Lee' and 'Dad' were laid ahead of the service, with another of his former sides Bolton Wanderers sending a bouquet of flowers.

After calling time on his football career, Lee became a toilet roll millionaire thanks to his company F.H Lee. He used part of his fortune to buy a majority share in City in 1994, becoming chairman – a position he held for four years.

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